The highest-quality of the quarter-final ties from the Europa League comes from Italy this week, as Arsenal will travel to Naples hoping to secure their spot in the semi-finals.
Napoli, on the other hand, will be hoping that they can turn around the 2-0 deficit from the first leg at the Emirates.
Check out our soccer tips.
Napoli vs Arsenal Preview
It will be a tall order for Carlo Ancelotti and his Napoli team as they will need to score two clear goals to get back into the game against the famous English opponents. The first leg would have been a massive disappointment for a team that a lot of punters felt had a high chance of winning the competition outright.
They fell behind after 15 minutes when Juventus-bound midfielder Aaron Ramsey fired home, and the Napoli misery was compounded ten minutes later when a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal put the Gunners in complete control.
The Italian giants are fortunate to still be in the game, and they could have easily travelled back having lost 3-0 when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have settled the tie once and for all.
However, instead of smashing the back of the net, he miss-hit the ball and sent his shot into the side netting. It was a reprieve for the Italians and a missed chance for the Gunners. Time will only tell if they end up regretting that missed chance.
Arsenal dominated the game and completed more passes and had more shots on goal. They followed this win with a hard-fought victory at Watford. The Gunners were far from their best, and were handed the three points after a mishap from Ben Foster in the Hornets goal; when he fired his clearance against Aubameyang and into the back of the net.
This win keeps their top four hopes alive. However, a win in the Europa League could present the Gunners with a back-up route into the top competition.
Unai Emery does have a remarkable record in the secondary European competition; having won three titles in four years during his time with Sevilla. However, Napoli’s manager is also no stranger to championships, as Ancelotti has won three Champions League’s. It will be a fascinating tactical battle between two teams that could have easily met in the final.
Napoli vs Arsenal Tips
Arsenal did most of the hard work during their first leg victory, however, as has been proven throughout the season; they do not travel well.
Their away form has been catastrophic and means that this tie is far from over despite their two-goal lead. Napoli have a host of European experience and were unfortunate to be playing in the Europa League, as they were arguably deserving of the second place finish in their Champions League group.
So far this campaign they have beaten Liverpool and drew to PSG in Naples, and that is the kind of result they will be looking to emulate when Arsenal come to Italy.
It’s hard to rule out Ancelotti’s team, and they could win this tie when Arsenal get nervy after conceding early.
Tip: Napoli HT/FT